Imam Dubbed a Hero after Terrorist attack on Worshippers Leaving London Mosque*
Last night, a van drove into people emerging from a mosque in Finsbury Park, who were leaving having completed their night-time congregational prayers that take place during the holy month of Ramadhan.
Eight people were taken to the hospital after the attack, which took place outside the Muslim Welfare House. The police have said that all the victims are Muslim.
The attack happened while a group of worshippers were attending to a man who had just collapsed. The people declared it a terrorist attack within 8 minutes.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 19, 2017
“There was one big van, [that] came and hit all the people coming from mosque,” one witness said. Witnesses also said that the driver shouted out, “I’m going to kill Muslims.”
The driver was eventually subdued by the community, who also shouted: “kill me, I’ve done my job”.
Local Imam Mohammed Mahmoud is being dubbed as a hero, heard shouting
“don’t touch him! No one touch him!” when the driver was subdued on the ground.
The 48-year old driver was arrested on suspicion of murder. The man waved to the crowd while being taken away. White supremacists have celebrated the attack, according to the U.S. extremist monitoring group Site.
In the aftermath of the horrific attack, people of all faiths came together.
“We feel very bad for the Muslim community,” a member of the Jewish community said, “we are a very close neighbourhood and we work together.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called the incident a “horrific terrorist attack,” adding, “while this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect.”
The Imam at #FinsburyPark mosque detained the perpetrator and calmed the situation, showed such admirable restraint and true leadership
— Jennnifferrr (@raffee_ru) June 19, 2017
Labour leader and local MP Jeremy Corbyn spent much of the early morning at Muslim Welfare House, where the attack took place. He said:
“I see it this is a terror on the streets … in the communities … We have to all reach out and feel their pain and their stress.”
Prime Minister Theresa May called it a “sickening” terrorist attack, one that is “every bit as sickening as those that have come before.” She added,
“It is a reminder that terrorism, extremism and hatred take many forms; and our determination to tackle them must be the same whoever is responsible.”
The Daily Mail also came under immense fire by publishing an article with the headline, ‘White Van driver injures at least 10 people after ploughing into a crowd outside London’s Finsbury Park mosque where hate cleric Abu Hamza once preached as Muslims finish their evening prayers”. It was quickly established that the mosque where the attack took place was not Finsbury Park Mosque. The headline has since been changed.
A statement on the Muslim Welfare House website reads, “Our mosque and welfare centre provides vital support to many people in North London and we will continue to do this despite this incident.
“Muslim Welfare House has always welcomed the whole community. Only a few days ago we hosted a Great Get Together in memory of Jo Cox, attended by people of every faith and background.
“I would like to particularly thank our imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, whose bravery and courage helped calm the immediate situation after the incident and prevented further injuries and potential loss of life.”
People worldwide have spoken out in support of the Muslim community of Finsbury Park and in condemnation of this horrific attack, while commentators online are drawing the link between the attack and Muslim hate preached by right-wing media. Our prayers are with the community at this time.